I started a new job four days before the pandemic hit the United States. Four. days. before. Looking back now I can sort of laugh. But at the time it didn’t feel very funny. I had been searching for months and months to find a flexible job. A job that would allow me to pick my kids up from school in the afternoons. After almost a year of searching it felt like there weren’t any of those opportunities out there. I was starting to lose hope. But then I landed a job that magically checked all of my must have boxes at the time:
- Flexible hours
- Somewhat related to my field
It felt like I had struck gold. But then COVID hit and my kids’ schools closed. Suddenly I was thrust into another new job I had never anticipated: homeschool teacher. Many emotions flooded my brain: panic, fear, anxiety, and frustration to name a few. But once things settled a little I made a decision. I decided to take control of my career destiny. I told myself what I’ve been telling clients for 20 years: you’ve got more control over your career than you realize.
Here’s how I pursued my dream career during COVID (and how you can too!):
See related: Three Reasons it Pays to Follow Your Passions Outside of Work
I made a plan
Rather than staying in panic mode, I sat down with my husband and we talked. We discussed what my new role as a teacher would involve. How many hours per day it would take me to homeschool two kids.
We talked about the cost of childcare for two kids if I decided not to do the homeschooling, and weighed it against my income in my new job. We decided at the end of the day I would quit my paid job temporarily to focus on my kids and their remote education.
It wasn’t what I planned. I don’t remember signing up anywhere to become a teacher. But I knew I had a choice. I could sit and feel frustrated and scare. Or I could accept the situation, make peace with my decision, and move forward.
By deciding to pursue my dream career during COVID, I was able to take back some control in a very chaotic situation.
See related: Five Career Changes that Require Little Experience
I created an opportunity
Even amidst all its suckiness, COVID did something positive for me. It allowed me to focus a little more on my blog and online business.
I chose to focus on being excited about pursuing my dream career during COVID. In reality, the past nine months have been completely insane. I haven’t been able to devote the kind of time I would like to building my dream career. Not even close. But I have made big strides and I try to celebrate the small successes each day.
It’s important to remember that regardless of your career dreams and goals, success will not happen overnight. You will have to work hard for it. You’ll have to fight for it. But what I am realizing is that if it’s your true passion, it’s so worth it.
See related: How to Create Your Dream Job in Seven Steps
I made a commitment
The easy part was deciding to pursue my dream of being a blogger and entrepreneur. The hard part was making it happen. It’s not easy to be patient and work hard every day. But the reality is that building your dream career requires determination, dedication, and persistence.
I love to write, but writing several blog articles per week is a lot of work. I absolutely love to create content, but creating products and marketing and selling them is an enormous amount of work (and little return on investment at first).
That’s what I am learning. Even if you’re working in or toward your dream career, it’s still work. It’s hard and scary and not always so dreamy!
But I made a commitment. I show up each week and dedicate a certain amount of time to my blog. Similar to what I would do if I were working in a more conventional job.
See related: Top Ten LinkedIn Mistakes for Moms Returning to Work
I seek help when I need it
Regardless of which career path you choose, you can’t go it alone. That’s what I am learning in my new field of entrepreneurship. Joining support and professional groups on Facebook and LinkedIn have been game changers for me. I can ask questions, get feedback about my business, and learn from fellow entrepreneurs. And making new friends is also a giant plus!
Another important step I’ve taken is investing in continuing education. If you are making a career change or starting a new business, there are countless resources available. Books, online courses, free You Tube tutorials, and certification programs are just a few examples of ways to hone your skills and expertise.
See related: Five Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Career Success
It might seem farfetched or even impossible to pursue your dream career during COVID. Especially if you’ve suffered a lay-off. But all you need to start with is a vision. How do you picture your dream career?
From there, take it one small step at a time. Pursuing your dream career is not easy. But if you are patient and persistent, you will eventually achieve success!